As the Colts prepare for their season debut against the Chicago Bears, they are visited each day by media for updates. As we head into the season, it's an important development that the Indianapolis Star will be going under a pay wall in the very near future. At Colts Authority, we're committed to bringing you quality analysis and in-depth studies, but we also wish to provide readers with consistent updates. With the Star inconveniencing readers with an online pay wall, we'll be doing everything we can to keep readers updated.
Austin Collie is Forging Ahead
Injuries have plagued this preseason, a foreboding sign for the 2012 season, but now, as the season approaches, the Colts are nearing total team health, with just MLB Pat Angerer ruled out for the opener against the Bears.
The biggest health story of the season will likely be the ongoing battle between Austin Collie and his concussion-prone body. Collie took yet another blow to the head during the preseason, making it an unofficial count of four concussions in less than two years.
According to coach Chuck Pagano (H/T Mike Chappell), Collie is a "full go" for Sunday's game, and has been fully participating in practice.
"He's been running around, catching everything," Pagano stated to Indianapolis media earlier this week. "He looks great."
Collie's presence for this team is a reassuring, yet scary proposition. On one hand, his availability on the field is a fantastic weapon for rookie quarterback Andrew Luck. On the other, Collie's recent head trauma makes every fan cringe each time he goes over the middle.
Nevertheless, Collie wishes to play, he's been cleared by team doctors, and the team plans on playing him.
More Injury Updates
Collie isn't the only player who is working back into the fold, as the following players were all full participants for Wednesday's practice:
- Jerraud Powers (knee)
- Cory Redding (knee)
- Mewelde Moore (ribs)
Powers' injury didn't look serious when he came out of the game against Washington a week an a half ago. Redding has been working to get back all preseason after spraining his MCL in the first preseason game. Moore has also been out since the first preseason game with injured ribs, but looks to be ready for Week One, although it will likely be limited touches.
Fellow running back Delone Carter has had limited participation this week, as he also recovers from rib injuries. With three other running backs on the roster, all healthier than him, I'd expect him to be inactive this week. In contrast, T.Y. Hilton is recovering from a shoulder injury, and has had limited participation, but I expect him to play.
Angerer and Joe Reitz were the only two players to not participate, with Reitz sitting with a knee injury. Reitz had injury problems last season, and this knee injury (occured in practice last week) could be the nagging type of injury that recurs if he doesn't take care of it.
- The Colts will indeed start newly-acquired cornerback Vontae Davis against the Bears, and may end up shadowing Bears WR Brandon Marshall throughout the game. Jerraud Powers will start opposite, but it has not been decided whether he'll move around, or stick to one side of the field.
- The Colts will use rookie WRs LaVon Brazill and T.Y. Hilton in the return game, with Brazill the starter on the current depth chart. CB Cassius Vaughn is a possibility as well.
- Rookie running back Vick Ballard, after spending most of the preseason as the #2 back due to injuries to Moore and Carter, is now officially the No. 2 back for Week One. Brown will start, and likely get most of the carries, but I expect Ballard to get his share.
- As expected, Justin King will be the nickel CB, with Vaughn as the fourth guy.
- Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis still aren't exactly where Coach Pagano wants them to be, but Phil B. Wilson still expects them to play 40-50 snaps this week.
Mathis on expectations and the "chip" on their shoulder:
“We’ll say it’s more than a chip.It’s a whole two-by-four wood block. We know what we got in this locker room. We know what we’ve been working hard towards all offseason. So it’s time to put it on the field.”
Luck on the growing pains of a young offense:
“I hope we don’t have to. I hope I don’t have to take those lumps, but I think it’s part of growing up. Part of being a rookie is, I guess, coming up to situations that you haven’t seen before. I think I have great guys to rely on all around this locker room. I’ll try and get to the basics when things like that happen and just run the offense.”
Pagano on Luck's nerves for his first game:
“There will be butterflies. I’m sure he will be anxious, just like everybody else. Suggs threw up before every game 10 years in. That’s just how competitive guys are. Once he gets out there and he gets rolling, it will be business as usual for 12 (Luck).”
Luck on his brand new tight end weapons, Coby Fleener and Dwayne Allen (From an excellent interview from Jason Lisk)
Yeah, I think they complement each other very well. Obviously, Coby has great full-go speed and can really run, whereas Dwayne maybe has a little more short area quickness and short area power. So I really think they complement each other well. It’s been fun getting to know Dwayne and learn how he plays the game and how he runs his routes. I am continually impressed by him every day, how a man that size can run and cut like he does. Hopefully, they’ll give us some good matchup problems for other teams and help us win some games.